Mulato II Grass Seed - 50 lb. bag

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Mulato II Grass Seed - Mulato II is a vigorous growing warm season pasture or forage grass adapted to the tropical and sub tropical regions around the world. Mulato II is especially attractive for beef and milk production operations.  Mulato makes excellent haylege or dry hay as well.  Mulato should be planted in well drained soil areas that receive little frost for best results.

Seed Rate: 20-30 lbs. per acre
Seed Depth: 1/4 - 3/8 inch
pH: 5 - 7
Planting Time: Spring, Summer
Adaption: Low Frost Tolerance, prefers well drained soil

Plant height, without the inflorescence, ranges from 90 to 100 cm (35.4 to 39.4 inches). Its intense green, linear-lanceolate leaves have abundant pubescence, which is dense but a bit shorter than that of Mulato grass.

Plant architecture is characterized by 9-10 leaves per stem, arranged horizontally to form a dense, leafy plant coverage. All these factors increase forage consumption as well as the efficiency of pasture use.

Its intense green cylindrical stems, measuring from 55 to 80 cm (21.7 to 31.5 inches) long, are also densely pubescent.

In addition, Mulato II has very deep, branched roots, which gives it excellent resistance to drought.

Mulato II can be easily established by planting seed. Its seedlings present high growth vigor, so it is possible to obtain an established pasture with more than 80% coverage between 60 and 90 days after planting. We recommend a rate of 10 pounds per acre for good establishment. Please remember that seed should not be planted at more than 3/4 of an inch (2cm) in depth to avoid problems of low seedling emergence.

Mulato II has excellent nutritional characteristics in terms of crude protein (CP) content and digestibility.

Although both parameters vary depending on the age of the grass and the time of the year, in general this grass yields between 14-21% CP and its in vitro digestibility in regrowths of 25-35 days is between 55-66%.

Because of its superior forage quality and excellent forage production, Mulato II is suitable for intensive rotational management. The recovery capacity of this grass is high, requiring rest periods of 21-28 days in the rainy season. This grass requires medium-to-low soil fertility to maximize its biomass production. Therefore it is recommended to do annual maintenance fertilization with nitrogen and phosphorus, depending on the results of a soil analyses.

There are currently two Brachiaria spp. hybrids developed as forages and further combinations of species may be developed as hybrids in the future.

Distribution
Does not occur naturally.
Artificial hybrids suited to the tropics to 1,800 m asl and the subtropics at low altitudes.

Uses/applications
Permanent pasture for grazing and cutting.

Ecology

Soil requirements
Well-drained soils of medium to high fertility with pH 4.5 - 8.0 but can grow in less infertile acid soils with high Al.  Will respond strongly to added N on deficient soils.

Moisture
Adapted to annual rainfall of 1,000–3,500 mm with good production in the dry season.

Temperature
Tropics to 1,800 m asl and warm subtropics.

SunLight

Likely to be similar to B. brizantha, having intermediate shade tolerance compared with other tropical grasses.

Defoliation
Tolerates intensive grazing at high stocking rates but benefits from a rest period.

Fire
Burning is not recommended, but 'Mulato' will probably recover from an occasional fire.

Agronomy
Guidelines for the establishment and management of sown pastures.

Establishment
Cv. Mulato can be planted from seed planted into a well-prepared seedbed at 4–6 kg/ha seed.  In common with B. brizantha, freshly harvested ‘Mulato’ seed will remain dormant for several months, so that seed must be stored or acid-scarified prior to planting.  Can be planted vegetatively from stolon cuttings.  Establishes rapidly, achieving 85% ground cover at 2 months after seeding at 5 sites in Honduras.  Can be lightly grazed after 3–4 months.

Fertilizer
Responds well to additional nitrogen fertilizer.
Compatibility (with other species)

Will combine with aggressive creeping legumes.
Companion species

Pests and diseases
Cv. Mulato has partial resistance to spittlebugs.  In the ongoing breeding program at CIAT, a group of hybrids has been identified with high levels of antibiosis resistance to spittlebugs  Aeneolamia varia, A. reducta, and Zulia carbonaria, whilst another group of hybrids showed field resistance to Z. pubescens and Mahanarva trifissa.

Ability to spread
Spreads rapidly by rooting from lower culm nodes.

Weed potential
Likely to be similar to B. brizantha, having potential to colonise disturbed areas.

Feeding value & Nutritive value
Cv. Mulato has excellent nutritive value.  For 90 day and 168 day regrowth in Colombia, CP was 13.1% and 10.6%, respectively, and IVDMD 70.0% and 70.6%, respectively.

Palatability/acceptability
Cv. Mulato is reported to be highly palatable to grazing ruminants.
Toxicity

None reported, but may cause skin photosensitization .

Production potential

Dry matter
High yielding and vigorous.  Produces 10–25% more DM than B. brizantha or B. decumbens.  In Tabasco, Mexico, yields of up to 25 t/ha DM have been reported.

Animal production
Individual cattle LWGs of up to 0.9 kg/head/day were reported following short periods of grazing in Honduras.

Genetics/breeding
The breeding program at CIAT, Colombia, is attempting to increase resistance to spittlebugs, and improve nutritive quality and DM production of Brachiaria species through selection and interspecific hybridisation.  The program has made use of a cross-compatible, sexual tetraploid biotype of B. ruziziensis combined with tetraploid apomicts of B. brizantha to produce the hybrid , ‘Mulato’.
A second hybrid accession , ‘Mulato II’ was developed from three generations of hybridization, commencing with the original B. ruziziensis x B. decumbens cross.  In subsequent generations, sexual parents were exposed to pollen, either from hybrids with B. brizantha or from B. brizantha accessions, through open pollination .  Microsatellite data clearly show that ‘Mulato II’ has alleles that are absent from the B. ruziziensis parent and also absent from B. decumbens cv.  ‘Basilisk’, but that are present in ‘Marandú’ and/or in other accessions of B. brizantha.

Seed production
Poor and not recommended at farm level.

Strengths
High DM production.
Good forage quality.
Tall vigorous grass for cutting.
Tolerance to spittlebug.

Limitations
Low yield of pure live seed.
Viability of crude seed is poor.
High soil fertility requirements.

Other comments
Selected references
CIAT (2002) Variety: 'Mulato'. Application no: 2001/174. Plant Varieties Journal, 15, 20–21.
Peters, M., Franco, L.H., Schmidt, A. and Hincapie, B. (2003) Especies forrajeras multipropÓsito: Opciones para productores de Centroamérica. CIAT Publication No. 333. CIAT, Cali, Colombia.



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